Fortified excreta pellets for agriculture - An update on research in Ghana

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Josiane Nikiema, O Cofie, Pay Drechsel, R Impraim …

Josiane Nikiema, O Cofie, Pay Drechsel, R Impraim

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  • allowed us to test the following options. So we have recommendations on how to do it.
  • Typically, for cylindrical pellets having 5 mm in diameter, the final volume is only 50 - 90% of the original compost (Hara, 2001). making it a dust-free process Also, fertilizer pellets release nutrient at a steady rate and are effective in decreasing soil and nutrient losses from agricultural fields. This is important especially given that the residual nutrient effect of pellets, on a following cropping season, might become significant than with powders.
  • Different formulations – Market waste and Sawdust


  • 1. FORTIFIED EXCRETA PELLETS FOR AGRICULTUREAn update on research in Ghana Josiane Nikiema, O Cofie, R Impraim, Pay Drechsel Researcher – Environmental Sciences West Africa Office – Accra, Ghana Phone: (+233) 302 784 753/4 Skype: Josiane.nikiema Fax: (+233) 302 784 752 Email: Water for a food-secure world
  • 2. What we did so farGhana: 24.2 Million inhabitants, 95% depending on on-sitesanitationResearch in Ghana from 2000 to date– Direct application of urine to soil– Land application of FS– Extended storage of FS– Composting of Feces– Co-composting of FS and solid waste– Fortification (blending) of fecal compost– Agronomic trials (crop and soil response, safety) Water for a food-secure world
  • 3. Drying Aim of the BMGF project Composting/Irradiation• Pelletization of FS based materials to increase the marketability Grinding – Increase general acceptability Enrichment – Increase the ease of handling and placement Pelletization – Improve fertilizer use efficiency Drying• Key partners: 3 Universities, 1 Municipality, 1 Research Institute Sieving Use - Agronomic trials Water for a food-secure world
  • 4. Drying beds Step 1. Drying stepOver 2 tonnes DFS produced• Size: 240 m2 per drying bed• 18 tankers needed – 6 public latrines; Average retention time at source: 2.4 weeks DFS – 12 Septic tanks: Average retention time at source: 1.6 years
  • 5. Step 2. Composting FS + Sawdust or market waste Three different formulations 70 1400 Total amount of added water (L) 60 1200Temperature (˚C) 50 1000 40 800 30 600 First stage 20 Temperature 400 10 Water requirement 200 0 0 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 Time (days) Temperature change and water added during composting of DFS Final stage
  • 6. Step 3. Grinding• Capacity: 450 kg/hr Water for a food-secure world
  • 7. Step 4. Enrichment• Enrichment: allows to align the composition to the needs for different crops and soil• Also contributes to further sanitization Water for a food-secure world
  • 8. Step 5. Pelletization• Capacity: 100 kg/hr• Water and binders are also added – 2 binders tested: Clay, Irradiated/pre-gelatinized starch
  • 9. Critical factors for pelletization• Moisture content• Minimizing loss (fine materials generated during production)• Pellet stability• Bulk density: at least 20-50 % reduction• Disintegration time (nutrient availability timing) Water for a food-secure world
  • 10. Disintegration time (hours) 140 120 PG IRTime (Hours) 100 80 60 I-DFS 40 t = 0 hr t = 46 hr, 0% 20 EC-DFS binder 0 0% 1% 3% 5% Binder concentration Binder good for transport stability And also for breakdown in soil t = 46 hr, 5% pre- t = 46 hr, 5% gelatinized starch irradiated starch
  • 11. On-going greenhouse/field experiments Tested productsA. EC-SDFS with 3% pre-gelatinized E. Inorganic fertilizer (IF) (PG) starch F. Soil onlyB. EC-DFS with 3% PG starch G. Commercial organic fertilizer orC. EC-DFS with 3% irradiated (IR) starch poultry manureD. I-DFS with 3% IR starch Application rates: 150 & 210 kg N/ha Crops: maize and cabbage Two (2) soil types Water for a food-secure world
  • 12. Soil 1 (good forest soil)At flowering 700 Soil 1 - 150 kg N per ha Soil 1 - 210 kg N per ha 600 Maize fresh weight (g) 500 400 300 200 100 0 EC-SDFS/ EC-DFS/ EC-DFS/ I-DFS/IR Inorg. Soil only Com. PG PG IR Fert. Comp Fertilizer label Water for a food-secure world
  • 13. Soil 2 (typically depleted soil)At flowering 600 Soil 2 - 150 kg N per ha Soil 2 - 210 kg N per ha 500 Maize fresh weight (g) 400 300 200 100 0 EC-SDFS/ EC-DFS/ EC-DFS/ IR I-DFS/IR Inorg. Fert. Soil only Com. PG PG Comp Fertilizer label Water for a food-secure world
  • 14. Summary of results (I)ChallengeDisease Fortifer is safe (total CF, E. coli, helminths, heavy metals)incidenceTransportation With pellets 50-80 % of the initial volume remainsHandling Fortifer pellets are strong and do not easily breakPerception Preliminary market analysis in 4 selected regions of Ghana confirmed positive response to pelletsApplication Dust-free process. Targeted application of specific amounts. Composition and nutrient release of the pellets can be steered according to crop. Water for a food-secure world
  • 15. Accompanying demand study1. Identification of market segments (customers)2. Quantification of segment size and locations3. Perception studies, WTP, ATP4. Comparison of WTP with likely costs of compost production and transport for customer  First assessment of market demand FS co-compost Pelletized, fortified FS co-compost (different N-P-K configurations) Water for a food-secure world
  • 16. Market segments for perception and WTP studies Urban farming systems: 1) Market oriented vegetable farmers 2) Staple crop farmers 3) Backyard farmers Not yet explored • Mining companies (land rehabilitation) 4) Ornamental flower producers • Irrigation schemes (paddy) Peri-urban farming systems: • Forest plantations 1) Vegetable farmers, • Regional expansion (Burkina) 2) Staple crop farmers 3) Fruits plantations (pineapple) 4) Cotton, cocoa, rubber, palm oil plantations (often outgrower systems) Real estate developers (housing) and landscape designers Parks & Gardens (municipal departments) Water for a food-secure world
  • 17. Some results from demand analysis• 80% of farmers show positive perceptions and are willing to use and pay for FS co-compost (n=600)• Reasons for low WTP in general more economic/technical than cultural• Revenue scenarios promising, but large variations in the WTP between different farming systems ( targeted production & promotion). Water for a food-secure world
  • 18. Variations between farming systems• Peri-urban farming system: more tenure security than urban farmers, more interest in long-term soil fertility build-up.• Maize-cassava shifting cultivation, or short term vegetables: interest in quick nutrient injection, not in long-term benefits.• Smallholders: large group but low WTP; compared new product with their current product (cheap poultry manure).• Plantations: high demand and WTP; compared with industrial fertilizer, but also high quality and packaging requirements.• Irrigation &. Compost = increased water holding capacity: Good or bad? Water for a food-secure world
  • 19. Summary (II)• Urban agriculture only a tiny market; peri-urban farming systems much higher demand.• Construction and plantation sectors are premium customers for any significant compost sale.• Smallholder needs could be subsidized through the demand from premium customers (pro-poor).• In contrast to plantations, real estate sector has low requirements on quality and packaging.• Big Plus: Plantations and estate developers have their own transport capacities. Water for a food-secure world
  • 20. Regional analysis Distribution of Farmers by Acceptability of FS Co-Compost (n=600)City Kumasi Accra TamaleFS acceptable 83 % 74 % 84 %Unacceptable 17 % 26 % 16 %Illegal FS use _ + +++common (raw)Competing +++ ++ +products (PM, ...) Water for a food-secure world
  • 21. The authors would like to express their gratitude to:• Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding this research;• All national partners! Many thanks for your kind attention ! Water for a food-secure world